I would really like to do one of these where I’m actually happy half way through.
I started my blog midway through Conte’s tenure actually around this time in 2018 because I felt there was too much negativity around and the fact that I needed to right my thought’s down more as therapy rather than anything else. Being a sports fan can be stressful and it’s actually funny how a club can dictate a person’s mood in their daily life. Conte stuck around, then Sarri came and after a great start mid way through I was again calling for patience. Sarri stuck around then Lampard came and after a mixed start I was again calling for patience. Lampard stuck around and in his 2nd season I don’t actually know what my thoughts are and that’s why I’ll try to express them the best way I can.
As usual we will take this competition wise just so it’s a bit organised.
Carabao Cup Round of 16
A 6-0 win over Barnsley in the Round of 32, Havertz getting a hattrick it was simpler times as Chelsea’s new signings looked like they were settling in well. This was followed by a trip to Tottenham and Werner gave Chelsea the lead but a poor 2nd half allowed Tottenham to take the game to extra time and we lost on penalties. Not a massive issue and not one we were really bothered about as fans.
FA Cup 4th Round (Ongoing)
Chelsea’s FA Cup journey started recently as we beat Morecambe 4-0. That we hoped would kickstart some positive momentum in the New Year but it hasn’t actually gone to plan exactly. Next up is a visit from Luton Town as we look to replicate our trip to the final and hopefully win the trophy this time.
Champions League Round of 16 (Ongoing)
A really good Champions League group stage saw us finish top fo the group quiet comfortably while winning 4 and drawing 2 games. Scoring 14 and conceding only 2 goals. It was a great feeling at the time and it was in the middle of a good run of form which felt even better. Next up for Chelsea is a double header against Atletico Madrid in the Round of 16 which is looking like an uphill task at the moment with Atletico in blistering form and dominating La Liga. On course but don’t know for how long.
Premier League MW 19 8th (Could drop)
As of MW 19 Chelsea sit 8th in the Premier League table, and with Southampton, and Villa yet to play a few games we could sit as 10th by the time they are done. It’s been a crazy season but the stats would suggest that other than United and Liverpool no team has really shifted from their form last season.
Liverpool – 55 / 34 (Max 37)
Leicester – 39 / 38
Man City – 38 / 35 (Max 41)
Man United – 28 / 37 (Max 40)
Tottenham – 29 / 33 (Max 36)
Arsenal – 23 / 27
Chelsea compared to this point last season –
League Position – 4th / 8th (Best case scenario, 10th worst case scenario)
Points – 32 / 29
Goals scored – 33 / 33
Goals conceded – 27 / 23
Record – 10 wins 2 draws 7 losses / 8 wins 5 draws 6 losses
There are plenty more stats around that one can throw out but the gist of it is that we haven’t improved as much as we would have liked to. There are certain aspects such as having scored 3 or more goals in 8 games as opposed to 4 last season or having 4 clean sheets as opposed to the 7 we have this season. All these good stats came in that unbeaten run at the start of the season but 5 defeats in 8 games later we don’t look so good. For Lampard the fact that we invested so heavily in the squad during the summer and we are 3 points worse off than we were last season paints a weird picture.
The signings have come in and several made an impact during that positive run at the start of the season but since Leeds it’s as if a switch had been flipped. A defence that was solid is making mistakes, Mendy looks shaky, our forwards aren’t scoring and we just look off the pace all over the pitch. Then you add to that the fact that Chelsea haven’t turned up against any of the top teams. While at this stage against the current top 8 last season we managed 8 points this season we have managed 5 points. It’s not a damning stat but it is one that shows we have slightly regressed in that area.
So what’s next for Chelsea? There are basically two clear options that Chelsea can take from here –
Option A and probably my option would be to stick with Lampard at least until the end of the season and then assess the situation from there. Lampard did enough last season earn a full 2nd season and he has shown at the beginning of this season that this team can do really well when they are up for it. It was quite literally a little more than a month ago when Chelsea were being touted as title challengers and that form has to be found again. For Lampard he needs to somehow sell as much dead weight as he can over the next 11 days. The fact that Rudiger has gone from being sold to starting two games in a row shows how much politics plays a role behind the scenes. Lampard need to reinvigorate the signings especially Werner and Havertz who’s confidences look shot. Top 4 is still possible and if ever there is a person that united Chelsea together its Frank Lampard. It has been a very weird season due to Covid and things can change quickly with a few positive results.
If things go well and we turn it around by the end of the season then we stick with Lampard for a 3rd year, if not we gauge the situation and make a change. I also do think that this is the option that Abramovich will take because the last manager he sacked during the season was Mourinho and we sat 16th at the time. Of course if poor results continue that might all change and Lampard could leave.
Option B and probably one that some people would favour would be to let go of Lampard now. We have reached a midway point through the season and are part of the FA Cup and Champions League as well. We would at maximum 10 points from the top and that would be manageable in terms of getting into the top four. Bring in an experienced manager who can potentially give Chelsea a positive ending to the season. Two problems with this option is that there are no top managers available that suit what Chelsea are trying to do. Allegri is one but he is too defensive for Chelsea’s taste and Tuchel is the other. Sure Tuchel is the young German trophy winning manager of PSG but honestly anyone can win at PSG. At Dortmund he only managed the DFB Pokal and he seems to be a personality that polarises opinion. I would much rather wait it out and appoint Nagelsmann or Hassenhutl who have proved themselves in their respective careers.
There is a lot that can happen over the next 4-5 months and there is still plenty to play for. I feel like Lampard is worth the gamble BUT Lampard himself needs to pick up the pace. Lampard needs to fix his lineup and trust the players that were delivering the results initially. Lampard needs to get Werner firing because it would be a massive boost. Lampard has to get the players playing and showing that hunger again because against Leicester they were completely devoid of it bar 2-3 of them. It’s an uphill task and I supported every single manager in recent years and I will support Lampard until its over one way or the other. I believe in our legend to take this club back to the top and I do see him lifting trophies as our manager. COME ON LAMPARD! COME ON CHELSEA!!!